Politics and the Twitter Revolution: How Tweets Influence the Relationship between Political Leaders and the Public

Overview

Politics and the Twitter Revolution: How Tweets Influence the Relationship between Political Leaders and the Public by John H. Parmelee and Shannon L. Bichard is the first comprehensive examination of how Twitter is used politically. Surveys and in-depth interviews with political Twitter users answer several important questions, including: Who follows the political leaders on Twitter, and why? How persuasive are political tweets? Is political Twitter use good for democracy?

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Politics and the Twitter Revolution: How Tweets Influence the Relationship between Political Leaders and the Public

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Overview

Politics and the Twitter Revolution: How Tweets Influence the Relationship between Political Leaders and the Public by John H. Parmelee and Shannon L. Bichard is the first comprehensive examination of how Twitter is used politically. Surveys and in-depth interviews with political Twitter users answer several important questions, including: Who follows the political leaders on Twitter, and why? How persuasive are political tweets? Is political Twitter use good for democracy?

These and other questions are answered from theoretical perspectives, such as uses and gratifications, word-of-mouth communication, selective exposure, innovation characteristics, and the continuity-discontinuity framework. In addition, content analysis and frame analysis illustrate how political leaders' tweets frame their policies and personalities. The findings in Politics and the Twitter Revolution show Twitter to be surprisingly influential on political discourse. Twitter has caused major changes in how people engage politically. Followers regularly take actions that are requested in leaders' tweets, and, in many cases, leaders' tweets shape followers' political views more than friends and family. Other findings raise concerns. For some, Twitter use contributes to political polarization, and there is frequently a disconnect between what followers expect from leaders on Twitter and what those leaders are giving them.

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Editorial Reviews

Tom Johnson
It may seem odd to say that a book examining the political uses of a technology that has only existed for five years is long overdue, [but] Politics and the Twitter Revolution was definitely worth the wait. The authors effectively couple survey research, content analysis, and frame analysis with in-depth interviews to explore what motivates individuals to follow political leaders on Twitter, what they see as its benefits and drawbacks as well as how Twitter affects them. The study also effectively critiques how politicians employ Twitter. This is a comprehensive and insightful look at Twitter politics.
David D. Perlmutter
Politics and the Twitter Revolution breaks new ground in analyzing one of the newest, most common, and most misunderstood online social media venues and its role in American politics. Parmelee and Bichard's book will inform many readers, from political staffers asking ‘How can we use Twitter?,’ to students in political communication classes, to the advanced researcher seeking access to a wealth of data and insight.
From the Publisher
Surveys of and interviews with political Twitter users seek answers to several important questions: Who follows political leaders on Twitter-and why? How persuasive are political tweets? And more broadly, is political Twitter use good for democracy? These and other questions are answered from theoretical perspectives, such as uses and gratifications, word-of-mouth communication, selective exposure, innovation characteristics, and the continuity-discontinuity framework.
Larry J. Sabato
Twitter has taken the political world by storm, and it’s changing the way candidates campaign and voters learn about politics. This groundbreaking book by John Parmelee and Shannon Bichard shows us how it’s being done and why it matters. Must reading for anyone for wants to understand the power of new social media.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

John H. Parmelee is associate professor of communication at the University of North Florida. Shannon L. Bichard is associate professor in the College of Mass Communications at Texas Tech University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Chapter One: Introduction: The Importance of Twitter in Politics
Chapter Two: Why People Use Twitter for Politics: The Uses and Gratifications of Following Political Leaders' Tweets
Chapter Three: The Impact of Political Tweets When Used as Word-of-Mouth Communication
Chapter Four: Is Following Political Leaders Good for Democracy? Examining Political Twitter Use, Selective Exposure, and Selective Avoidance
Chapter Five: In their Own Words: Exploring the Roles and Value of Political Twitter Use in Followers' Lives
Chapter Six: Tweets on the Campaign Trail: An Analysis of Frames Used in 2010 Campaign Tweets
Conclusion: How Twitter Influences the Relationship between Political Leaders and the Public
Bibliography
Index
About the Authors

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